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It's interesting to see how quickly the world can change, but often just for a relatively short period of time.
I've mentioned it before, and I keep reminding myself about it daily but seriously... we need to slow down.
For the last decade or so, I feel as if our society has been ramping up to 6th gear just to please the endless craving called consumerism. We've got this thirst for life in the fast lane, at all cost.
I often compare our current societal behaviour with people on e-bikes and speed pedelecs. The ones that ride one, ride it for themselves. Needing to get as fast as possible from A to B, often impatient and pushing their way through. No control on their speed, no control on their brakes. Just me, myself and I. When they hit someone, it's not their fault. It never is. They just have to go faster, faster, and faster.
A large part of our society is currently on an e-bike.
Slow down in small steps
Personally, I can sometimes be too much in a rush as well. I don't enjoy walking slow, I prefer to do many things at the same time (not a good idea, nobody is efficient when multi-tasking) and I can be extremely impatient.
I've found a bit of peace in meditating, something I've been doing daily for the last few years. What I learned is that if you want to make a big change, you'll have to do it in slow steps.
Meditating, per example. Or taking the time during the day to just sit on a park bench for a while and enjoy the view instead of your phone. Taking small steps daily lead to a long-lasting journey of calmness.
Of course not everything has to go slow, but it is good to recognise those moments where you need a break and find focus again.
I try to convert this mindset to Store Du Nord as well. Despite being open for just 1,5 years now, the events in the world and in my own little entrepreneurial bubble feel like a rollercoaster with a broken speed handle stuck on SPEED.
The challenging thing is that no matter how fast or slow you want to go in business, it takes two to tango.
Over the past few seasons, my store has evolved from part commercial brands and part niche brands, to mainly niche brands and solid heritage brands. I source brands that appeal to me in terms of ethics, vision, quality and style. Much of what I present can be considered as contemporary menswear, meaning that it is not trend-related but more seen as core items for your wardrobe.
There is a strong element of fulfilment in working with unique brands such as Motiv, Norwegian Rain, Companion Denim and all those other highly respected makers. What's fulfilling is that all those brands have a shared practice: Making the best possible garment in their niche, without compromise.
This involves sourcing the right fabrics to match the patterns and styles created, working with high dedication to crafting the perfect samples to show buyers and find a mutual understanding on how the piece should be interpreted and shown in stores.
That process is very different from what you see at chainstores, shopping malls and fast-fashion brands. The main difference is time.
Where large corporations release 10-12 collections per year, the independent makers at Store Du Nord present 2-3 collections per year. So much time and effort is invested in making garments that last, that it is impossible but also unnecessary to make more collections.
I often describe it as a slow dance, where you find the rhythm together and have the perfect dance. It takes time to feel your partner, to be able to perform in the best possible way for both parties involved.
In this hectic world, I hope that more people will slow dance again.